A week after a fatal accident at an upper West Side construction site, many people are still asking if the deaths of two ironworkers was something that could have been prevented. The question of whether or not safety lapses occurred has been brought into question after previous safety issues were uncovered.
Two workers employed by Cross County Contracting fell to their deaths while working on-site to extend an elevator shaft. According to a report appearing on NYDailyNews.com, “Building Department inspectors said the site lacked proper safety features, leaving nothing to stop the men from falling seven floors down the shaft to their deaths.”
In response, Cross County President John Tracy claims the equipment was available at the site, however for some reason the workers failed to make use of it. As stated in the report, “It was there, but for some reason the men did not put it in place to use. People sometimes get complacent and do things they shouldn’t”.
What makes this situation even more upsetting for all parties involved is the fact that Cross County Contracting has a history of being cited for performing work without the proper netting and harnesses. Federal safety records show the company was fined $31,000 in fines from OSHA, for serious violation dating back to 1996. Whether or not this decades long history of safety violations came into play in this incident remains to be seen.
Both men were experienced ironworkers with almost 60 years combined experience on the job.